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Interesting but Fatally Flawed Concept
on 14 November 2007
The hype says this is on a par with "Saving Private Ryan". Don't believe it. The military advisor (if there was one) must have had experience from the Napoleonic Wars. The "set piece" battles are just that - "set piece" - and like something from the cheesiest war films you've ever seen. Here we go, hundreds of running infantrymen advance through petro-chemical shellfire towards an objective defended by a half dozen Germans not very proficient in field work. Why do the imaginations of so many directors stop at this clichéd and tired visual concept of warfare? I could not suspend my disbelief that the principal actor, Jamel Debbouzel, clearly unable to use his right arm, had been cast as an infantryman. Ridiculous. The exploration of the complex colonial relationships was superficial and not fully developed. I didn't watch to the end. It is contrived, pretentious, stereotypical and, frankly, rather boring. Disappointing for any serious devotee of the war film genre.